‘Maskne’ – Yes, Mask Induced Acne is a Thing!
“Maskne” refers to acne breakouts associated with face masks. Yes, it’s a real thing, another “New World Issue”. Wearing a face mask is essential to slow the spread of COVID-19, and there are so many great mask designs that provide fun ways for self-expression, but the use of face masks can cause frustrating side effects, such as blemishes, chafing, dryness, and irritation.
Why does wearing a face mask cause “maskne”?
Acne Mechanica is friction induced acne that can lead to inflammation, which is what happens when your mask rubs your facial skin with prolonged use. Masks can also trap oils, sweat, and microorganisms in the skin, which ultimately block pores and lead to acne flare ups. For your mask to be effective, it must be flush against the face, which can lead to dryness and chafing. No fun!
Even if you are not acne prone, you can still develop “maskne.”
How do I prevent and treat maskne?
- Consider the type of mask you wear
The material your mask is made of can affect your skin. Experts say 100% cotton masks allow the skin to breath a bit more.
- Wash your mask frequently
Especially during these Summer months, it is important to keep your mask clean or rotate frequently. Sweat, oils, makeup and dirt can contaminate your mask causing all the unwanted skin issues we are trying to avoid. Wearing a mask is like underwear, it should only be worn once before washing for the next use!
- Wear less makeup under your mask
Most women apply foundation daily, however with frequent mask wearing, heavy makeup can be a perfect storm for pesky blemishes. Using a tinted SPF, BB cream or a light powder foundation may help reduce clogged pores and breakouts with mask use.
- Be diligent about cleansing your skin
We all know how important it is to wash your face daily, however it is even more imperative to keep the skin clean when dealing with mask induced acne. SkinCeuticals Simply Clean wash or LHA cleansing gel are both great active cleansers that will degrease the skin and kill bacteria, preventing and treating clogged pores. A medicated toner such as, SkinCeuticals LHA toner can also be a powerful weapon to fight off maskne!
- Hydrate and moisturize
When skin is inflamed, or chafed, overuse of topical acne medications and harsh products may exacerbate the issue. It is best to choose calming, hydrating products to give the skin the nourishment it needs. We recommend SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective gel packed with botanical extracts that help reduce redness, soothe irritation and hydrate with hyaluronic acid. If you are a dryer skin type, SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore can help restore the skin’s barrier function and support the skin’s natural repair.
- Treat acne lesions the correct way
Treating maskne breakouts (or any acne breakout) the correct way is key!
Do NOT pick the effected area. Spot treating the lesions as needed is the best way to stop the spread of the breakouts and heal the tissue appropriately. Blemish and Age Defense is a SkinCeuticals serum comprised of lactic, salicylic and glycolic acids perfect for spot treating blemishes! This serum will not over dry the skin and will quickly heal lesions caused by continued mask wearing.
Have more questions about maskne? We’d love to help! Please call or email to set up a complimentary consultation.
And, thank you, for doing your part by wearing a mask.